US congressman says defense provision to directly arm Sunnis and Kurds may be reconsidered

A member of a visiting delegation of U.S. congressmen in Baghdad says a provision in the upcoming defense spending bill to separately arm Iraq's Kurds and Sunnis may be reconsidered.

Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security told The Associated Press that in light of the political and security situation in the country, "we have to go back to that provision to see if we can change that."

McCaul said briefings he received indicated that such a provision would threaten Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's position.

On Wednesday, influential Shiite cleric Moqtada el-Sadr threatened to attack U.S. interests if the provision in the $715 million defense bill to train the Iraqi army passed.

The measure has also been loudly condemned by the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government.